FROM THE RECTOR: GOD IN OUR LIVES TODAY
I'm writing on Friday, October 13, from Chicago where I am attending the Annual Conference of the Society of Catholic Priests of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada until Saturday. I want to tell you about two of the presentations we heard yesterday. (I'm saving the third presentation, by the Most Reverend Frank T. Griswold, on sacramental Reconciliation for when I am home and can access my books.
The first presentation was by the Right Reverend Melissa M. Skelton, bishop of the diocese of New Westminster, Vancouver, Canada, since 2014. She spoke on "Anglo-Catholic Evangelism." Though now serving in the Anglican Church of Canada, Bishop Skelton is American. She had a significant background in business and organizational management before responding to a call to ordination. Her background has been of great service to the church, including the then-struggling Saint Paul's Church, Seattle, where she was called as rector in 2005.
It was inspiring to hear about the journey of that congregation from being a small and struggling one, to a parish that needed to expand its church building to keep up with growth. I made many notes-and it was an occasion when I wish I knew shorthand.
Saint Paul's is the only Anglo-Catholic parish in Seattle. She helped the congregation own its strengths-a great commitment to the power of Anglo-Catholic worship and a congregational life that not only purposefully welcomes newcomers into the community, but also purposefully engages the congregation in the service of others. When she arrived, incense wasn't being used on summer Sundays and at some other points in the year. She began to use incense every Sunday, because the richness of worship every Sunday matters for the work of God. At the heart of her leadership, I think it is fair to say, was a question she asked of herself, the members of the parish as individuals, and the community of the whole congregation, "What is God doing in our lives today?"
In the afternoon there was a presentation on "Evangelism and Music" by the Right Reverend Eugene Taylor Sutton, bishop of the diocese of Maryland. Among the many aspects of music in worship, he spoke about the voice of the congregation, about the evangelical character of all of its voice in song, both for those who sing and those who hear the church singing. He made me think about the power of hymns and of chants, the power of hymns that are in a particular congregation's bones, as it were. It is extraordinary when God speaks to us through the words and music of song.
There will be many Sundays in the summer, when I will turn around at the Solemn Mass to begin the Great Thanksgiving and will see people in the back of the church listening to the words, "The Lord be with you" and those that follow, before I bow to the congregation and turn to the table. I hope that if they hear the congregation sing, "And also with you," that may hear an invitation from the Lord that invites them also to join in giving thanks. -Stephen Gerth
YOUR PRAYERS ARE ASKED FOR Beckett, Mike, Dorrie, Wendell, Barbara, Dick, Karen, José, David, Debbie, Robert, William, Karl, Pearl, Dorothea, Olutoyin, Eugenia, Peggy, Kathy, May, Heather, James, Heidi, Takeem, Barbara, Jean, David, Sandy, Dennis, and George; for Horace, Mitties, Scott, Anne, David, Ross, Gaylord, Harry, Louis, and Edgar, priests; for all victims of poverty, famine, violence, and disaster, especially the people of Las Vegas and Puerto Rico; for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Mark; and for the repose of the soul of Arthur Walmsley, bishop . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . October 15: 1880 Covington Guion Burt; 1889 Sarah Jane Patterson; 1896 Elizabeth Ropes Trask, August Vincent Schineller; 1941 Edith Long; 1943 Martha Elizabeth Fitch; 1952 John Michael Root; 1971 Florence Scheftel; 1987 Harold Polit.
THE ORDINARY FRIDAYS OF THE YEAR are observed by special acts of discipline and self-denial in commemoration of the crucifixion of the Lord.
THIS WEEK AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Concert at Saint Mary's: Saturday, October 14, 2017, 8:00 PM, The New York Repertory Orchestra. Admission is free (suggested donation: $15.00). Program: Amilcare Ponchielli, Overture to "I Lituani," Gustav Mahler Kindertotenlieder, Vaughan Williams, Symphony No. 6 in E minor. . . The Inquirers' Class, led by Father Matthew Jacobson will meet on Sunday, October 15, at 100:00 AM in the Nursery. . . Sunday, October 15, 10:00 AM, Saint Benedict's Study, The Reformation: 1517-2017: Parishioner and teacher of history and global studies Grace Mudd continues her four-part series on the history of the Reformation. The series is designed, in part, to mark the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's Ninety-five Theses. . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class will not meet on October 18, due to illness in Father Jay Smith's family . . . Father Pete Powell will begin his series on the Gospel of Matthew on Sunday, November 5, at 10:00 AM, in Saint Benedict's Study. Wednesday, October 18, Saint Luke the Evangelist, Sung Mass 12:10 PM and Mass 6:20 PM . . . Friday, October 20, 6:30 PM, Centering Prayer Group, Atrium, Parish Hall, Second Floor. Please enter at 145 West Forty-sixth Street, just west of the main doors to the church, and press buzzer 1 in the vestibule. Then climb up one flight of stairs, make a U-turn, and climb up another small flight of stairs. The Atrium will be on your left.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . As we go to press, José Vidal has been admitted to NYU Langone Medical Center. Please keep him in your prayers . . . The annual All Souls' Day Appeal packets were mailed on Tuesday, October 10. The packet includes a prayer-request form and a return envelope. We urge you to return your prayer requests as soon as possible. An offering with the requests is customary and is deeply appreciated . . . Attendance: Last Sunday: 189.
STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN . . . We will be mailing pledge packets for 2018 during the month of October. We invite you to think and pray about a pledge of time, talent, and treasure for the coming year. We are very grateful to all those who continue to support Saint Mary's and its mission.
ADULT EDUCATION . . . The Inquirers' Class, led by Father Matthew Jacobson will meet on Sunday, October 15, at 100:00 AM in the Nursery . . . Sunday, October 15, 10:00 AM, Saint Benedict's Study, The Reformation: 1517-2017: Parishioner and teacher of history and global studies Grace Mudd continues her four-part series on the history of the Reformation. The series is designed, in part, to mark the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's Ninety-five Theses . . . The Wednesday Night Bible Study Class will not meet on October 18, due to illness in Father Jay Smith's family . . . Father Pete Powell will begin his series on the Gospel of Matthew on Sunday, November 5, at 10:00 AM, in Saint Benedict's Study.
ABOUT THE MUSIC. . . The setting of the Mass on Sunday is Canterbury Mass by Anthony Piccolo. Piccolo's note on the 1996 published edition reads, "Written in 1978 for Dr. Allan Wicks and the Choir of Canterbury Cathedral, these settings were intended for use in the Cathedral's resonant Nave during the rebuilding of the organ. They are here presented somewhat revised and in accordance with current liturgical practice." The Mass is scored for unaccompanied mixed choir, mostly in four parts but with occasional further division of voices. The text is disposed efficiently with occasional overlapping of text phrases. Piccolo grew up in New Jersey and completed a Master's degree at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland. During a subsequent nine-year residence in England, he sang with cathedral choirs of Litchfield, Canterbury, and Saint Paul's, London, and performed extensively as a pianist. Returning to the United States, he has remained very active as a composer, pianist, and conductor in a variety of venues.
The Communion motet on Sunday morning, Ego sum pastor bonus, by Costanzo Porta (c. 1529-1601), is a setting for six voices of verses from the tenth chapter of the Gospel according to John. The text of Porta's motet occurs in the Roman cycle of antiphons attached to Magnificat at Vespers on the third Sunday of Easter, and as the Communio at Mass for the Fourth Sunday of Easter. As an Italian Renaissance composer, Porta is generally classified with the Venetian School, of which the Dutch-born Adrian Willaert (c. 1490-1562), Porta's probable teacher, is considered the principal founder. Porta and his fellow Venetian composers were significant in bridging the established polyphonic compositional practice of his time to the newer emerging polychoral art. Their music embodied stylistic developments which anticipated Baroque musical conventions to come. That said, Porta's bright setting of Ego sum pastor bonus is in a conventional polyphonic style.
The organ prelude is the Fugue in B minor, BWV 544b, of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). This Fugue, which follows its companion Prelude (BWV 544a, played as the prelude last Sunday), is one of only six such Bach works for which a complete autograph is extant. This manuscript, now in Oxford, bears the title Praeludium pro Organo cum pedale obligato. The main theme of this massive Fugue is brief and moves entirely in notes of equal duration and in step-wise motion. The Fugue falls neatly into three sections: the exposition with pedal; an extended section without pedal; and a final section with pedal, which is announced by a new and rhythmically distinctive counter-subject. The drama of this final section is enhanced by a gradual foreshortening of the time interval between statements of the somewhat serpentine subject, until it is stated several times back-to-back in the drive to the final cadence. - David Hurd
RECITALS AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Wednesday, November 1, 5:30 PM, All Saints' Day, Patrick Kreeger, associate organist, Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church . . . Friday, December 8, 5:30 PM, Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Dr. Keith Reas, director of music, Saint Paul's Church, Chattanooga, Tennessee.
CONCERTS AT SAINT MARY'S . . . Saturday, October 14, 2017, 8:00 PM, The New York Repertory Orchestra. Admission is free (suggested donation: $15.00). Program: Amilcare Ponchielli, Overture to "I Lituani," Gustav Mahler Kindertotenlieder, Vaughan Williams, Symphony No. 6 in E minor . . . Saturday, October 28, 2017, 8:00 PM, The Miller Theatre presents the Orlando Consort: Loire Valley in Song. From the Miller Theatre website, "The Laborde Chansonnier is one of the finest surviving French song-collection manuscripts, containing over a hundred songs by Binchois, Busnois, Dufay, Ockeghem and other fifteenth-century masters. Set with stunning illuminations and constructed with supreme skill, the Chansonnier-or songbook-was clearly produced for royal hands, eyes, and ears. The Orlando Consort sings a montage of the Chansonnier's most striking selections, complementing the pictorial magic of this magnificent Renaissance artifact" . . . Saturday, November 18, 8:00 PM, The Miller Theatre presents Vox Luminis: Royal Funeral Music. From the Miller Theatre website, "For sixteenth- and seventeenth-century royalty, funeral rituals provided one last opportunity for earthly opulence. Vox Luminis explores the rich history of musical memorials, including Thomas Morley's music for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth I, and Heinrich Schütz's Musikalische Exequien for Prince Heinrich von Reuss, who commissioned the piece as part of his elaborate funeral plans. Works by Purcell and Bach round out this poignant program that both mourns death and celebrates life. Visit the Miller Theatre website for more information and to purchase tickets.
HOMELESS MINISTRY . . . Our next Drop-in Day is scheduled for Saturday, October 21, 2:00-4:00 PM in the Mission House. We are looking for 6-8 volunteers who are able to commit to helping out that day. We are looking for a greeter, who can direct our guests to the Clothes Closet; and we need volunteers who are able to welcome our guests and help them find suitable toiletry items and articles of clothing. Two social workers from our outreach partner, Breaking Ground, will be present on October 21. Donations are needed for October 21 and for the rest of our winter Drop-in Days. We need blankets, razors, and shaving cream. We also need packs of new underwear for both women and men, in all sizes; and very shortly we will need cold-weather clothing such as coats, sweaters, thermal underwear, gloves, boots, and sweatshirts. Such basic items are proving to be useful to our neighbors living without shelter. Please contact Sister Monica Clare, if you would like to volunteer, or if you would like to make a donation . . . We also continue to receive nonperishable food items for our outreach partner, Saint Clement's Food Pantry. Please place those items in the basket near the ushers' table at the Forty-sixth Street entrance to the church.
SUPPORT THE FIGHT AGAINST ALZHEIMER'S . . . Parishioner Michael Reid once again invites Saint Marians to join the fight against Alzheimer's Disease. There will be two Walks taking place in Manhattan in October. On Sunday, October 15, the Caring Kind Walk is scheduled to take place in Riverside Park. Then, on Saturday, October 28, the Alzheimer's Association will hold its Walk downtown starting at South Street Seaport and ending at City Hall. Michael is the captain of the Mount Sinai Team that will be participating in both Walks. If you would like to join him for one or both of the Walks, please send him an e-mail. If you would like to make a donation, you may do so either here or here.
FUNDRAISING EVENT: The International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) will be hosting a fall fundraising event on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 in Saint Joseph's Hall 6:30pm-8:30 PM. Since their founding in 1960, IIRR has partnered with people in developing countries to empower rural communities to overcome poverty. IIRR's work engages with communities to educate children, create more efficient farming practices, plan for natural disasters, and nurture local entrepreneurs. IIRR's programs are staffed with local people in six countries in East Africa (Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, and Zimbabwe) and three countries in South Asia (the Philippines, Cambodia, and Myanmar.) IIRR's grassroots work is uniquely sustainable and people-centered, and IIRR has been a pioneer in the rural reconstruction movement. Tickets are $35 in advance / $40 at the door / $20 for students, and proceeds benefit IIRR's programs in South Asia and East Africa. Tickets may be purchased online. For more information, please contact Nicole Palma, who is a good friend of Saint Mary's.
LOOKING AHEAD . . . Monday, October 23, Saint James of Jerusalem, Mass 12:10 PM and 6:20 PM . . . Saturday, October 28, Saint Simon and Saint Jude, Apostles . . . Wednesday, November 1, All Saints' Day, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Sung Mass 12:10 PM, Organ Recital 5:30 PM, Solemn Pontifical Mass 6:00 PM . . . Thursday, November 2, All Souls' Day, Sung Matins 8:30 AM, Sung Mass 12:10 PM, Sung Mass and Blessing of the Vault 6:00 PM . . . Sunday, November 5, Daylight Saving Time ends . . . Saturday, November 11, Veterans' Day (the church is open on the normal Saturday schedule) . . . Saturday, November 11, Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, 8:30 AM-5:00 PM, Diocesan Convention . . . Wednesday, November 22, Eve of Thanksgiving Day, Sung Mass 6:00 PM . . . Thursday, November 23, Thanksgiving Day, Mass 12:10 PM.